Similar to 2016, this year’s City Council election in Westminster is expected to be hard-fought with thirteen candidates vying for two open seats. The departure of Vice Mayor Tyler Diep and Council Member Margie Rice have created a rare opportunity where no incumbent is running for re-election.
Here is the list of these candidates in the order that will appear on the ballot, their ballot designation, and my take on their candidacy:
Anita Rice – Westminster Planning Commissioner
Evaluation: Having a well known last name and being first on the ballot in a crowded field gives Anita Rice a decent chance of being elected. Rice like her mom is not aligned with any political faction in Westminster at the moment. Her candidacy is not view favorably by the “Sergio Contreras – Jamison Power – Westminster POA” group because they suspect Rice will draw votes away from Jamison Power. Anita Rice is a registered Republican.
Mark Lawrence – Westminster Resident
Evaluation: Two years ago Mark Lawrence came close to winning despite spending little money. This year he filed for City Council again but has been MIA since. Mark Lawrence is a registered Republican.
Khai Dao – Non-Profit Organization Director
Evaluation: This must be the third or fourth time Khai Dao ran for City Council in Westminster. Two years ago he wanted to run for Mayor but didn’t get enough valid signatures to appear on the ballot. I’m not sure who encouraged Khai Dao to run again but he is not doing much after he completed his filing application. Possibility of being a “decoy candidate”. He is a declined-to-state.
Tai Do – Police Officer / Businessman
Evaluation: For a first time candidate, Tai Do is actually an impressive campaigner. Do raised $58,000 between the period of Jan. 1 – Jun. 30 and also loaned his campaign an additional $25,000. He spent $28,000 thus far which leaves his campaign with about $59,000. He works as a police officer in Long Beach and is endorsed by Senator Janet Nguyen and Council Member Sergio Contreras. The Westminster POA has contributed $2,000 to this campaign. Tai Do is running as a team with Democrat Jamison Power.
Jamison Power – Governing Board Member, Westminster School District
Evaluation: Jamison Power is probably the leading contender for City Council. He has been laying the groundwork for this run since 2016 when he won the support of the police union by publicly backing Measure SS, the 1% sales tax increase. Power is senior in-house counsel for Hyundai Motor America by profession and is currently serving his second term on the Westminster school board. The Westminster POA has contributed at least $3,000 to this campaign. Power is running as a team with Tai Do and he is a liberal Democrat.
Randy Young – Clinical Applications Professional
Chi Charlie Nguyen – Director, Midway City Sanitary District
Evaluation: This is Chi Charlie Nguyen’s 3rd attempt at the Westminster City Council but probably his strongest campaign ever. He is endorsed by Mayor Tri Ta, Tyler Diep, Kimberly Ho, Margie Rice and the Republican Party of Orange County. As of Jun. 30, Nguyen have raised nearly $50,000. This guy is a viable candidate.
Frances The-Thuy Nguyen – Board Member, Westminster School District
Evaluation: In 2016 Frances Nguyen surprised a lot of people when she defeated another candidate backed by the Westminster teachers union for a seat on the school board. Now she believe she can do it again just on favorable name recognition, campaign signs and Facebook.
Samantha Bao Anh Nguyen – Businesswoman
Evaluation: She ran for school board in 2014. She ran for city council in 2016. She is running for city council again this year. People who are not sure if she is being used as a “decoy candidate” or Samantha Nguyen is running for public office to promote her massage/wellness business in Garden Grove. Similar to Frances Nguyen, her candidacy is welcoming news for Jamison Power. It is likely that this is a “decoy candidate”. She is a registered Republican.
Amy West – Westminster Business Owner
Evaluation: Amy West means well and is passionate about running for office. Being persistence is her strength but it is also her weakness. West reported raising $5,000 so far and is trying to win this race by hitting the pavements. Her only political experience so far is being an Alternate to Supervisor Andrew Do on the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee.
Visual William – Businessman
Andy Quach – Businessman / Legislation Consultant
Evaluation: It is fair to say that Andy Quach have a lot of political baggage. A lot of people were surprised to learn that he is throwing his hat in the ring again. The only thing he have going for him is that no one will view him as a serious threat. Quach is a registered Republican.
Jason Gray – Mortgage Loan Processor